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City of Hamilton

Street Tree Planting Program


Lets Get Growing…..Free Street Trees!

In 2004 City Council approved funding for the establishment of an enhanced Street Tree Planting Program. The benefits of trees are numerous and are increasingly important to the achievement of Hamilton's objective of a cleaner, greener environment. To achieve this goal Forestry Staff have undertaken to plant trees at residential, commercial as well as city owned properties across the greater Hamilton area. This fully funded program allows for the installation of new trees and replacement trees on the city owned portion of a property ('road allowance').

The benefits of a Street Tree Planting Program include:

  • Improved Air Quality 
  • Emission Reductions 
  • Reduction of the "Urban Heat Island" Effect 
  • Smog Reduction 
  • Storm Water Control 
  • Green House Gas Reduction 
  • Absorption of Breathable Particulates 
  • Noise Abatement 
  • Improved Health of Citizens 
  • Aesthetically Enhanced Landscapes

Street Trees Brochure (PDF)

The Urban Forest

As much as people around the world associate Canada to be a "Forest Nation" or "Forest People", in reality 78% of Canadians live in urban centres. For most Canadians, the forest they most closely associate with are the woodlot remnants, riparian borders and street trees that constitute the urban forest.

The Canadian Image of the Urban Forest

Many may argue that the conventional image of Canada's forests is disconnected from reality. Few Canadians own recreational properties (cottages) or seek wilderness experiences in Canadian forests - fewer still make their livelihood from wood-using industries. As such, the urban forest where 78% of Canadians live and work represents the primary interface between the vast majority of Canadians and their natural heritage. If there is an urban disconnect from forest issues and rural forest communities, then the urban forest is the logical place to begin to reconnect urbanites to nature.

Because 80-90% of the urban forest is in private residents' front and backyards rather than city parks or street sides, it is essential that homeowners are aware of the issues of urban forest sustainability and are directly involved in it. Urban Canadians are not oblivious to the forest around them. On the contrary, a recent poll indicated that 84% of Ontario urbanites felt that the trees and woodlands in and near their communities were extremely important to them. Similar numbers of respondents indicated that they were concerned about the health and vitality of these forests.

Urban forestry has since gone through a number of changes and developments since the 1960's including: the growth of the arboricultural industry, the establishment of municipal tree advisory committees, the employment of professional foresters in most Canadian cities, the passing of tree cutting bylaws, the growth in inventory and other management systems and the creation of agencies to (amongst other things) manage urban forests including the Commission de la Capitale nationale in Québec City, National Capital Commission in Ottawa, the Wascana Centre Authority in Regina, Saskatchewan and many others. Other technical innovations in urban tree installation and naturalization techniques were pioneered in Canada as well